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COMSTOCK FOR DELEGATE BLOG

The Comstock Connection 7/3/13
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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In This Issue
Governor McDonnell Ceremonially Signs The Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act
House Arts Caucus Welcomes New Wolf Trap President
New Directional Sign Placed For Wolf Trap National Park Patrons
New Laws In Virginia
Speaker Howell Announces $1.8 Million In Legislative Savings
Opening of MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital In McLean
Young Women's Leadership Program Visit To Facebook
Governor McDonnell Announces Speed Limit Increase on 495 Express Lanes
Congratulations Ian Havasy and Quentin Shivnen
Lyme Disease 5K and Fun Run In Loudoun
Korean Bell Garden Memorial Celebration
Punjabi Mela Festival
Memorial Day Ceremonies
50th Anniversary Organization of Korean American Women
Upcoming Events For The Fourt Of July
DONATE: Northern Virginia Family Services Back To School Drive
Save The Date
Contact Me

District Office:
PO Box 6156
McLean, VA 22106
(703) 772-7168
  
July 3, 2013

Dear Friends,

 

Best wishes for a Happy 4th of July weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you over the weekend with the various festivities throughout the 34th District. 

 

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the recent elementary, middle, high school and college graduates and recognize all their hard work. Best of luck as each of you begin the next chapter of your life. 

 

As always, we want to keep up to date with you in the 34th District and hear from you on any of your concerns. Thank you all for your continued input, advice and support. 

 

Please don't hesitate to contact my office on matters of concern to you. I can be reached by email at delbcomstock@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 703-772-7168.

Governor McDonnell Ceremonially Signs The Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act
  

 

 

On Tuesday, June 25th Governor Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed my legislation, the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act at Claude Moore Park in Sterling. This legislation makes Virginia the first state in the nation to require health care providers to notify those tested for Lyme Disease that tests can produce false negative results.

  

When the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act goes into effect on July 1st, we will have a patient-centered solution that gets information about testing problems directly to those suffering from Lyme Disease so they can seek additional testing, if necessary, as well as appropriate treatment. I would like to give a special thanks to Governor McDonnell for his support of this legislation and to the National Capital Lyme Disease Association for this grassroots commitment to ensuring that this effort was a successful one.
  
Click here to read a letter to the editor in The Connection Newspapers from a Great Falls resident about the recent bill signing ceremony.
  
I was also honored to receive an award last weekend from the National Capital Lyme Disease Association for my work on the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act.
  
House Arts Caucus Welcomes New President Of Wolf Trap

I was delighted to welcome Arvind Manocha, the new President of Wolf Trap, at a party I hosted along with the House Arts Caucus and local business leaders at my home on Sunday, June 16th. You can read more about Arvind's great background at www.wolftrap.org and check out the summer schedule, all the programs, and become a Wolf Trap member. 

 

Also, Fox News recently featured Arvind as their "Power Player of the Week." Click here to watch the segment.

 

My colleagues and I formed the House Arts Caucus to highlight the importance of the arts to our economic and educational communities. Members work with the business community to encourage them to support the arts, serve as a resource for them and are active in the arts community themselves. We are always open to new ideas on what we can do, so please feel free to share any ideas you have.

New Directional Sign Placed For Wolf Trap National Park Patrons

It was recently brought to my attention that cars full of Wolf Trap National Park patrons have been misdirected through MapQuest and their GPS devices to the intersection of Lozano and Asoleado Lane in Vienna. On average, about two to three dozen cars a night during the summer months encounter this problem.

 

In response to this, I wrote a letter to the Virginia Department of Transportation asking them to look into this matter with the hopes of placing a directional signs (i.e., the word Wolf Trap with an arrow) to better direct the flow of Wolf Trap traffic.  A directional sign has now been placed at the corner of Beulah and Trap Road. I would like to thank VDOT and Wolf Trap for all their work thus far as we continue to work together to address the misdirection occurring with MapQuest and GPS devices.

New Laws In Virginia                    

On July 1st, a number of new laws went into effect in Virginia.  This year, 2,575 bills and

resolutions were introduced in the General Assembly; 31 percent of those bills were signed into law.  The following are some of the bills I sponsored this year: 

 

Texting While Driving:  Provides that driving while texting is a traffic infraction punishable, for a first offense, by a fine of $125 and, for a second or subsequent offense, by a fine of $250. The law also increases the punishment of any persons convicted of reckless driving to include a $250 mandatory minimum fine if the person was texting at the time of the reckless driving offense.  The law also changes the offense from a secondary offense to a primary offense.  I was a Co-Patron of this bill.

 

Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act:   Requires the Department of Health to update its website to contain a notice regarding the accuracy of lab tests for Lyme disease and the potential for false negative results of such testing, and to make such information available to physicians in the commonwealth for distribution to patients.  I was the Chief Patron of this bill.    

 

Secret Ballot Protection Act: Strengthens workers' rights and freedoms and enshrines Virginia workers' right to a secret ballot. Workers will now be protected from intimidation, harassment and potential threats to vote in a certain way. I was the Chief Patron of this bill.

 

New Tax Incentives For Data Centers: Establishes a tax exemption for computers used in data centers by creating a new category for data storage.  This gives more flexibility to our local governments to provide tax incentives for data center growth. This will keep this growing industry thriving in Northern Virginia and help our state take the lead in the 21st century job market.  I was the Chief Patron of this bill. 

 

Penalty For Prostitution Of A Minor: Solicitation of a minor younger than 16 years of age is now a Class 5 felony and any person who solicits prostitution from a minor 16 years of age or older is guilty of a Class 6 felony. I was a Chief Co-Patron of this bill.

 

Mental Health Treatment Coordination In Higher Education: Colleges and universities may now coordinate with local community services boards, behavioral health authorities, local hospitals and other local mental health facilities in order to expand the scope of services available to students. I was a Co-Patron of this bill.

 

Increasing Penalties And Enforcement On "Strawman" Purchases And Illegal Firearms Sales:

Provides that any person who sells, barters, gives, etc., any firearm to any person he knows is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm under Virginia law is guilty of a Class 4 felony. A person who engages in the "strawman" purchase of a firearm, where he purchases a firearm with the intent to resell or transport with the intent to resell outside of the Commonwealth to any person he knows is prohibited from purchasing a firearm, is guilty of a Class 4 felony and shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year.

Virginia House Provided Virginia With $1.8 million In Legislative Savings
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) recently announced over $1.8 million in legislative branch savings that was returned to the general fund at the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. This includes $1.6 million in savings by various legislative branch agencies and over $200,000 in unused House of Delegates salaries and expenses.

 

Since 2003, the House of Delegates has sent over $5 million in savings back to the general fund, including over $1.3 million by consistently operating at a reduced per-diem rate during the legislative session.  

Opening of MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital 

 

On Thursday, June 13th I attended the opening event for the McLean branch of MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. The National Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the leading rehab hospitals in the country with a major emphasis on spinal column and stroke associated issues.
  
This McLean facility specializes in sports medicine, neurology, orthopedics, and concussion treatment. I'm pleased to welcome MedStar NRH to McLean!
Young Women's Leadership Program Facebook Visit and Technology Summit

 

LEAN IN! Our Young Women's Leadership Program participants had a great visit last month with Facebook's Director of Policy Communications, Sarah Feinberg, and Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer, Erin Egan, at Facebook DC.
 
We heard from these top Facebook leaders about their career paths and how they tackled challenges and opportunities in their careers.
 
 
 
 
 
Participants in Delegate Comstock's Young Women's Leadership Program pose for a photo with Delegate Comstock, Erin Egan and Sarah Feinberg after their meet and greet session.
  
Our Young Women's Leadership Program had another great event on Monday, June 24th at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon. We had a chance to hear from Bobbie Kilberg, Caren Merrick and Cameron Kilberg.
  
They each provided keen insights to the young women about getting involved and engaged with their passions, the importance of taking risks and about the value of taking STEM courses in school. Thanks for a wonderful event.
Speed Limit Increase on 495 Express Lanes

A number of constituents had raised the issue of increasing the speed limit on the 495 Express Lanes. The Governor recently made the announcement that the speed limit has been increased from 55 mph to 65 mph and went into effect on June 24th.  While the speed limit on the 495 Express Lanes will increase to 65 mph, the speed limit on the mainline Beltway lanes will remain 55 mph.

Congratulations Ian Havasy and Quentin Shivnen
  
Congratulations to Ian Havasy and Quentin Shivnen of McLean's Boy Scout Troop 1128 who earned the rank of Eagle Scout at their Court of Honor Ceremony on Saturday, June 15th. This achievement attests to Ian and Quentin's outstanding organizational and leadership skills, along with their deep commitment to reach this goal. It was an honor to share this special day with both of these new Eagle Scouts.  
Lyme Disease 5K And Fun Run In Loudoun 
Delegate Comstock is joined by Monte Skall, Executive Director of the National Capital Lyme Disease Association, Delegate Randy Minchew (R-10), Susan Green and others at the Loudoun Lyme Disease 5K and Fun Run.

 

On Sunday, May 19th, I joined members of the community, my colleagues at the General Assembly and the National Capital Lyme Disease Association for their Loudoun Lyme Disease 5K and Fun Run in Purcellville to highlight the legislation we passed this year. 

 

Dr. Jorge Arias, Environmental Health Supervisor of the Fairfax County Health Department, was also honored at the ceremony as an expert in vector-borne diseases. He directs the Fairfax County Disease Carrying Insects Program focusing on Lyme and West Nile virus. Dr. Arias is responsible for major contributions to the battle against Lyme disease, including educational literature for both Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet with Dr. Arias at this event.

  

The National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) is an organization dedicated to furthering public awareness of Lyme Disease and its related co-infections. The organization has over 3,000 members, including 15 chapters throughout Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland and North   Carolina. For more information about Lyme disease, visit the NatCapLyme website at http://www.natcaplyme.org/

 

The Rainey family also graciously opened their home on Saturday, May 25th for a barbecue in recognition of May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Thank you for hosting such a successful event.

Korean Bell Garden Memorial Celebration 
  
General Assembly Members At The Korean Bell Garden Memorial Celebration (from left to right): Delegate Tom Rust, Delegate Mark Keam, Senator Janet Howell, Delegate Barbara Comstock, Delegate David Bulova. 
The Korean American Cultural Committee and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority co-hosted their First Annual Celebration of the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna on Saturday, May 25th. This event marked the one-year anniversary of the completion of the Bell Garden and the 60 years of partnership and shared prosperity between the United States and the Republic of Korea.  
  
I was joined by my General Assembly colleagues at the celebration: Delegate Tom Rust, Delegate Mark Keam, Senator Janet Howell and Delegate David Bulova. Together, we had the opportunity to watch Korean Fan Dancers, Taekwondo martial arts demonstrations and enjoy Korean food. 
  
Created as a partnership between KACC and NVRPA, the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark and the Korean structures within it were funded by KACC with major donations from the Republic of Korea, Gyeonggi Province, and Dr. Chang-ho Ahn and Mrs. Inok Ahn. The Meadowlark Gardens are located at 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court in Vienna. 
  
 
  
 
  
Punjabi Mela Festival
  

Ik Punjabi hosted their 4th Annual Mela Celebration on Sunday, May 26th at Bull Run Regional Park. I enjoyed seeing everyone and taking part in this festive occasion.

 

The Punjabi diaspora in this area is highly educated and active in many business, educational, and community efforts. Ik Punjabi is global non-political, non-religious, non-profit organization committed to ideas and initiatives that bring people together. Ik Punjabi's mission is to start a tradition of bringing together all Punjabis in an inclusive setting to share and promote their culture with no demarcation by region or religion. For more information on Ik Punjabi and future events, click here.
  

 
Memorial Day Ceremonies In McLean And Great Falls

 

Delegate Comstock joined two of America's finest at Great Falls Memorial Day Ceremony with their wives (from left to right): Lt. General Normal H. Smith, the keynote speaker, and Iwo Jima veteran, Tom Cox. Tom Cox was a 19-year old Marine fighting on Mount Suribachi when the now-famous flag raising drew cheers from thousands of Marines.
  .

On Monday, May 27th, I attended the Great Falls Freedom Memorial Day Ceremony honoring our veterans, the military and their families.  It is important to take the time to thank many of our fellow Americans who have fought and died to defend our country. Their steadfast courage reminds us that the United States is truly an exceptional nation. We honor America's fallen heroes so that their sacrifices to keep us safe are never forgotten.

 

It was also an honor to present this resolution at the Great Falls Memorial Day Ceremony honoring the late Tony Blankley to his wife, Lynda Davis, his daughter, Ana, and Lynda's mother. Tony was a longtime resident of Great Falls and a great friend of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial. A full text version of the resolution can be read here.
 

 

 

It was also a pleasure to join American Legion Post 270 for their Memorial Day Luncheon after their ceremony at McLean High School. I'm joined here with Glenn Yarborough and Bob Rosenbaum. Thank you for all that you do in McLean and our community to support our veterans and our military.

 
50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner for Organization of Korean American Women
  
Delegate Comstock with Delegate Vivian Watts and Delegate Keam at the 50th Anniversary Dinner for the Organization of Korean American Women.

The Organization of Korean American Women hosted their 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner on Saturday, June 1st. It was a pleasure to join them and recognize the special contributions they made as an organization to Hope for Wounded Warriors and the Fisher House Foundation. In the wake of the tragedy of September 11, the OKAW also donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross National Relief Fund.

 

The OKAW is a non-profit organization based in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. For a half century OKAW has tended to the needs of Korean women immigrating to the United States whether it be a matter of language, customs, social mores, economics or just the need to know that they are not alone in a new country.

Upcoming Events For The Fourth Of July 
  
Vienna
July 4th Celebration 
Thursday, July 4, 2013
11:00 a.m.-  4:00 p.m. Festivities with games and rides, arts and craft vendors, community organization booths, antique cars, chili cook-off and music.
LOCATION: Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE, Vienna, VA 22180
  
Fireworks Show
Seating area opens at 5:00 p.m.
Pre-fireworks entertainment begins at 7:00 p.m.
Show begins at 9:15 p.m.
LOCATION: Southside Park, 1315 Ross Drive SW, Vienna VA 22180
  
Great Falls
July 4th Parade and Activities
Thursday, July 4, 2013
5K Walk/Run begins at 8:00 a.m. at Great Falls Freedom Memorial
INOVA Blood Drive is from 8:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. at Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department
Little Patriot Parade at 9:00 a.m. at Gazebo in the Village Centre Green
Main Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. at the Great Falls Village Centre
Food, music, games and festivities continue from 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. at Village Centre Green
LOCATION: Great Falls Village Centre, 776 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA 22066
Click here for more information

 

Fireworks    
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Live Music by Chatham Street from 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Fireworks begin at dusk
LOCATION: Turner Farm Park, 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls, VA 22066

 

McLean
Fireworks
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Grounds open at 8:00 p.m.
Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.
LOCATION: Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Virginia 22101
PARKING: Shuttle buses will be available from St. John's Episcopal Church (on Douglass Drive and Georgetown Pike) and the McLean Community Center.
DONATE: Northern Virginia Family Services Back To School Drive 
  

Our office will be participating in the Northern Virginia Family Services "Back to School Drive" this year. We will be collecting school supplies to donate to needy families in the Northern Virginia area!

If you would like to donate supplies, please feel free to drop them by our office anytime during the summer. For more information, please call Jessica Goodman at (703) 772-7168 or jgoodman@delegatecomstock.com.

Save The Date
  • Every Friday- McLean Farmer's Market from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean Virginia 2210
  • Every Saturday- Great Falls Farmer's Market from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Great Falls Village Green Day School, 790 Walker Rd., Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • Every Sunday- Celebrate Great Falls Foundation Concerts on the Green from 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at the Village Centre, 776 Walker Road, Great Falls, Virginia 22066.
  • First Wednesday of Each Month- McLean Citizens Association Meetings at 8:00 p.m. at the McLean Community Center,1234 Ingleside Ave.,McLean, Virginia 22101
  • Second Tuesday of Each Month- Great Falls Citizens Association Meetings at 7:30 p.m. at the Grange, 9818 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • Tuesday, July 9- McLean Project for the Arts Fundraiser with HBC from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at Pulcinella Italian Host, 6852 Old Dominion Drive, McLean VA.

I try to be accessible to my constituents in as many ways as possible. For more information, please visit my website, www.delegatecomstock.com, where you can read my blog for up-to-date information on Virginia, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. You can reach me by email at delbcomstock@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 703-772-7168. Please don't hesitate to contact me about issues that concern you.

 

  Sincerely, 

 

Signature
Delegate Barbara Comstock

Paid for and authorized by Friends of Barbara Comstock.

 









Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.